Tampa Bay Marathon is Saturday; Meet the Competitors

CLEARWATER, April 19. THE Fourth Annual Tampa Bay Marathon Swim will be held on Saturday, April 21, in celebration of Earth Day.

The 24 mile competition starts at 8:30am from Ben T. Davis Beach on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, and ends at the Sunshine Skyway at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort (800 227 8045). The course covers the entire length of Tampa Bay.

The marathon swim is sanctioned by United States Masters Swimming (USMS), and USA Swimming. Competitors follow the same guidelines that English Channel swimmers observe as they cross the 22 miles from the cliffs of Dover, England, to the shores of France. No wet suits are allowed, and swimmers are not allowed to make any contact with the bottom or with the members of their escort crew. Even touching the escort craft is strictly prohibited.

The public is invited to the finish line victory celebration at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort's Nepa Hut and beachfront. The earliest finishers are expected to finish shortly after 4pm, and the awards ceremony is scheduled for 7:00pm. Admission is free.

Here are the 21 individuals, and 5 three-person relay team swimmers who have entered this year's event.

1. Chris Derks, 30, of Miami, FL will return to attempt a three-peat, having been the 1999 and 2000 champion of the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. In 1999, he set the course record with a time of 8 hours, 23 minutes. He has completed the New York City Marathon (28 miles), and the Atlantic City Ocean Marathon (22 miles), and plans an assault on the English Channel(21.5 miles) this summer. He was USS 25 & 15 kilometer All-American each year from 1995-97.

2. Robert Abcug, 31, of Coral Springs, FL will attempt to become the first ever to complete a two-way swim of the length of Tampa Bay. His double crossing will start at 7:00pm from the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort on Friday evening, April 20. He will swim overnight to the Courtney Campbell, then immediately turn around and return to his original starting point for a total distance of 48 miles. He swam and played water polo at George Washington University and competes at USMS (United States Masters Swimming) meets representing the Coral Springs Masters Swim Team. Rob is also an ultra-distance marathon runner, and completed the regional championship 100 Kilometer (62 miles) in Brooksville, FL with a time of 13 hours, 8 minutes. Previous Tampa Bay Marathon Swims: 1999 – Placed 9th with a time of 10 hours, 59 minutes; 2000 – Placed 6th overal with a time of 11 hours, 44 minutes.

3. Chris Hutt, 21, of Papillion, NE has been a competitive swimmer since age 6. His 1000 yard time earned him an invitation to the US Olympic Training Center. Chris also attended the US Air Force Academy prep school and was on the swim team. He recently set a USMS National Record in the 6000 yard time trial and was part of a 3×6000 yard relay that also won a National Championship. Hutt was recently notified by USMS that he will become a 2000 All-American for his 6000 yard accomplishment. He has competed in the Bay Bridge Swim in Pensacola, FL (5K), and at the Cornhusker Games in Nebraska.

4. Dave Parcells 43, of Madison, CT returns to Tampa Bay for the third consecutive year hoping to improve on his 3rd place finish in 2000. He completed the 28 mile Manhattan Island Marthon swim in June 2000, and successfully swam the 21.5 mile English Channel in August 2000. Read about his incredible English Channel swim at www.doversolo.com/dparcells.htm. Previous Tampa Bay Marathon Swims: 1999 – 4th place overall in 10 hours, 4 minutes; 2000 – 3rd place overall in 10 hours, 55 minutes.

5. Ryan Woodruff, 20, of Gainesville, FL swims for the Gator Swim Club and is a student at the University of Florida. He was a 3-time Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state qualifier. His crew is Ehrin Epps, David Sutton, and his father Dave Woodruff. In 1999, he completed the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles). Previous Tampa Bay Marathon Swims: 2000 – withdrew at the 2/3 point due to inclement weather and escort boat difficulties.

6. Andrew Johnson, 35, of Arlington, VA is a member of the USS Capitol Sea Devils and USMS Virginia Masters Swim Teams. Andrew has been swimming open water since 1995 when his Masters coach John Flanagan introduced him to the sport. He has competed at the 1995 USS 10K (60F), 1997 Catalina Island 5K, 1998 Swim around Key West (12.5 miles), 1999 Manhattan Marathon Relay. In 2000, he swam the Tampa Bay Marathon as a relay member, and returns this year to make a solo attempt.

7. Dan Foster, 36, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada represents the Etobicoke Olympium Masters Aquatic Club. He has successfully completed a solo swim of Lake Ontario (36 Miles) in 1998. Through wind, waves and cold in a time of 19 hours and 20 minutes he was the 42nd person ever to cross Lake Ontario. He has also completed in the 12.5 mile Swim Around Key West 2 times. Dan is a Age Group coach for Vaugn Aquatic Club for the last 7 years in Toronto.

8. David Boudreau, 42, Weston, FL and represents the Florida Gold Coast Masters Swim Team. He has completed the 12.5 Mile Swim Around Key West 3 times- 1996, 1997, and 1998. He has also been a medalist at the 28 Mile Manhattan Island Marathon- 7th in 1999, and 3rd in 1996. He has attempted to swim the English Channel (22 miles) in 1999 and 2000. Previous Tampa Bay Marathon Swims: 2000 – withdrew at the mid-point due to inclement weather.

9. Gregg Cross, 45, is from Ft. Myers, FL, where he swims and coaches for the Swim Florida team, and is also the coach at Estero High School. On March 14, 1996, he became the first to successfully swim the 19 miles around Estero Island, FL with a time of 8 hours, 10 minutes. Previous Tampa Bay Marathon Swim: 2000 – 8th place overall with a time of 12 hours, 59 minutes.

10. Joel Klemm, 28, of Lincoln, NE has been the YMCA Y-Nauts coach since 1999. He is coached by Jan Callahan of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dept of Physical Education. He swam at University of Wisconson-LaCrosse. Joel is a Recreational Therapist with the Nebraska Department of Public Institutions (Nebraska Health and Human Services) and works with mentally ill patients/clients who are committed to the State Hospital. He will remain in Florida after the race where his team will compete in the 2001 YMCA Masters Nationals in Sarasota, FL.

11. John Ceraolo, 40, of Coral Springs, FL represents the Coral Spring Masters team, and is a veteran open water swimmer and event organizer. His infamous pre-race presentation he makes each year for competitors at the 12.5 Mile Swim Around Key West has made him one of the best-known personalities in open water swimming.

12. Eric Shanks, 42, of Lincoln, NE is Coach of the Maverick Masters Swim Team at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also Coaches at the University's Lincoln Campus for the Masters Program. He completed the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles) in 1997. He coached Mark Lohnes for his 1998 Manhattan Island Marathon (28 miles), and was Mark's Crew Chief at the same event in 1999.

13. Gerry Teeven, 43, of Coral Springs, FL completed the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles) in 1998 and 1999. He has competed in the Little Red Lighthouse Swim in New York City (7.8 miles). His escort crew will consist of his Coral Springs Masters coach Chris Jackson, and his 15 year old son Casey Teeven.

14. Mark Lohnes, 35, of Lincoln, NE placed 11th overall at the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28 Miles) in 1999, and the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles) in 1998. Mark is an inspector for the Nebraska State Dept. of Environmental Quality, where he specializes in Chemical spills, cleanup, water and soil quality.

15. David Blanke, 41, of Austin, TX completed the Manhattan Island Swim (28 miles) in 1999 and 2000. He did the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles) in 1998. This summer, he will make his second attempt to cross the English Channel (22 miles).

16. Laura Borgelt, 28, of Denver, CO is excited about the swim in Tampa Bay. She is an Assistant Professor in the Pharmacy College at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She has competed in several open water events in Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

17. Allison Seldman, 24, of Gainesville, Florida swims for the Gator Swim Club and is a teammate of Ryan Woodruff.

18. Emily Watts, 33, of Manchester, MD was the 5th place woman at last year's Chesapeake Bay Swim (4.4 miles), and made 4 United States Masters Swimming Top Ten Times in 2000. She placed second in the 30-35 age group at the USMS Long Course Nationals in August 2000.

19. Sue Wilkinson-Megaw, 47, of Fairfax, VA completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28 miles) in 2000. She has also competed in the Chesapeake Bay Swim (4.5 miles), The Atlantic City Ocean Swim (1.5 miles), the Mouth of the Potomac River Swim (7.5 miles), the Plunge for the Patients in Wild Wood, NJ (5k), and the Ocean City, MD Swim (5k).

20. Hal Clarendon, of Gainesville, FL is 55 and swims for the Gator Swim Club. "I have swum around Key West, swum across Tampa Bay three times, Swam across the bay in Panama City twice and swum a triple event, 9,000 meters, in Panama City. I have swum up the Itchnikucknee River. See you on race day. Hal Clarendon Hal is making his third attempt at Tampa Bay." Previous Tampa Bay Marathons: 1999 withdrew due to coldness at mid-point; 2000 withdrew due to inclement weather at mid-point.

21. Dr. Konrad Euler, of St. Petersburg, FL is 64 and a member of St. Pete Masters. This is Dr. Euler's third attempt at completing Tampa Bay, having to pull out early in 1999 and 2000. He has successfully completed the 12.5 Mile Swim Around Key West. Previous Tampa Bay Marathons: 1999 – withdrew due to leg cramps at Pinellas Point; 2000 – withdrew due to inclement weather at mid-point.

RELAY SWIMMERS

R1. The Bolles School Sharks, Jacksonville, Florida. Briley Bergen, 17, is the 1999 and 2000 USA Swimming Open Water National Champion for the 25k distance. She was the 1999 Pan Pacific Games champion in the 25k event. Annie Moore, 18, placed 4th in the 25k at the 2000 USA Swimming Nationals, and will attend Virginia Tech this Fall. Mary Margaret, 17, is a USA Swimming Senior Nationals qualifier in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Brielle Adamovitch, 19, is a backstroker who has been accepted to swim at the United States Naval Academy this Fall.

R2. Tampa Bay Aquatic Club, Joe Solak, 36, of Tampa, FL, Carol Carter, 37, of Odessa, FL, and Tom Rawls, 33, of Tampa, FL will swim for the Tampa Bay Aquatic Club(TBAC). All have participated in the major open water swims in Florida, including the Jacksonville Beaches Marathon, the Swim Around Key West, and the Tampa Bay 5k Open Water Challenge.

R3. KOWS, Julie Yamato, 32, of San Francisco, CA, Wendy Woods, 36, of Boston, MS, and Russ Dagon, 34, of Orlando, FL. This relay team consists of swimmers from 3 corners of the continental United States. All have participated in the Alcatraz Sharkfest (1.5 miles), the Chesapeake Bay Swim (4 miles), and have participated as a relay at the Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles). KOWS Team stands for the Kellogg Open Water Swim Team, where they attended school together.

R4. United States Paralympic Veterans, Kendra Berner, 20, of Davidson, NC, Trischa Zorn, 36, of Indianapolis, IN, and Dan Kelly, 24, of Robbinsdale, MN. All three swimmers are members of the 2000 Paralympic swim team that went to Sydney, Australia in October 2000. All are all disabled, but the only significant disability is a man who is completely blind. They have a method for guiding him that was worked out last year at the Around the Island swim in Atlantic City. At that race, Dan Kelly was guided through 6 foot waves and everything else with great success. These are three of the best disabled swimmers in the country. They are strong accomplished swimmers. This is a disabled team, but they will not need or expect any special assistance.

R5. Los Gringos Denis Crean, 40, Sarn Brownell, 18, and Guillermo Garcia, 14, of Washington DC. Guillermo returns after becoming the youngest participant in the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim in 2000, when his relay team successfully completed the 24 mile course.

More information, and past race results are available at the official website of the event – http://DistanceMatters.com

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